Particulate filter removal

MQT on 2015-05-21
Session date: 
May 21, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Your approach to pollution reduction relies upon a switch to lower emission vehicles and the fitting of DPF devices. Unfortunately these can be taken off, which means that there is an unknown number of vehicles in London which only comply with emissions standards on paper, rather than in reality. This potentially undermines London's attempts to reduce the impact of pollution on health. I was therefore surprised to discover that Transport for London has no plans to address this issue, or to test out new devices which can identify DPF removal in car fleets such as the taxi and private hire fleets which it regulates. Will you ask them to change their approach?


Answer for Particulate filter removal

Answer for Particulate filter removal

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Firstly, it is important to recognise that the removal of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) installed as part of the type approval process is illegal. This is a matter for the Department for Transport (DfT). As such, my Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy has written to the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and raised it with senior DfT officials. These representations have already resulted in some positive changes to the national MOT test, although I recognise further progress is needed before the problem is fully tackled.

In addition, in London a number of processes are already in place to ensure vehicles operating here retain their DPF:

1. Any vehicle that has a filter fitted as part of the LEZ scheme is subject to an annual DVSA inspection. If an inspection fails or a vehicle doesn't have an inspection then they are subject to paying the LEZ daily charge.

2. Both taxis and private hire vehicles are subject to a rigorous inspection and licensing regime, which includes an MOT inspection every 6 months (which also includes a roadworthiness inspection and statutory emissions test) and an annual licensing inspection where emissions abatement equipment is also inspected. The absence of any of the obligatory exhaust emissions abatement system during vehicle inspections would lead to the suspension or revocation of the vehicle licence. 

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